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ISSN 0281-9864 

Language as Carrier of Consciousness 
Inger Bierschenk 

Lund University 


Cognitive Science Research 

Language as Carrier of Consciousness 
Inger Bierschenk 

1989 No. 30 

Communications should be sent to: 

Cognitive Science Research 

Paradisgatan 5 

Lund University 

S-223 50 Lund, Sweden 

Coordinator: Bernhard Bierschenk 
Department of Psychology 


The purpose of the discussion in this article is to give an evolu- 
tionary background to a method developed for the analysis of language 
seen as expression of intention and morality. The method is named 
"Perspective Text Analysis". This name indicates that beyond the physi- 
cal dimension of a text there is a metaphysical one, which can be dis- 
covered by a formal mechanism. The cue component of this mechanism is 
the Agent, which controls the perspective of the text. It has developed 
as a consequence of the shift from object (culture) as governor to men- 
tality as governor of human action. It is argued in this article that 
controlling Agent in a text analysis is the onl> possible way of control- 
ling consciousness. The main point put forward is that consciousness is 
bound to syntax. It follows that lexically carried linguistic information 
cannot be used for intentionally based text analyses. 

The discussion in this article is based on the conception that natu- 
rally produced human language is the only instrument for developing 
and transferring consciousness. The term consciousness is used to des- 
ignate the process which comes about in the cooperation between culture 
and mentality. These two dimensions are carried over by language. The 
cultural dimension refers to the ritualized patterns whereas the mental 
dimension refers to the purposeful order creating activity of the cul- 
tural behaviour. From a linguistic point of view, one could say that the 
cultural dimension is carried over by the lexicon. All verbal utterances 
whose purposeful ness are being freezed and conserved will loose their 
mental sense. The mental dimension is carried over by the syntax. Not 
until syntax may be discerned will it be possible to distinguish mentality 
from culture. 

Consciousness is also a matter of control. By studying language as a 
function of culture and mentality it is possible to discover the point of 
reference, that is the human standpoint expressed in an utterance, in 
order to determine the degree of consciousness (steering). Language re- 
flects three phases of consciousness: (1) external control, (2) internal 
control and (3) mental control. The steering mechanism of phase one is 
the objectively given, the way it is ecologically or socially stipulated. In 
phase two the point of reference has been made subjective and the 
steering mechanism builds on sensations (or emotions). In phase three 
the mentally bound steering mechanism is self-reference. Here, the point 
of reference is self-governing, which implies the conception of the sub- 
ject as responsible agent. A high degree of externalization corresponds 
to a low degree of consciousness. Although the three control phases may 
be regarded as historically developed, this does not mean that language 
of today operates solely within the latest phase. Language namely car- 
ries the possibility of activating all three depending on both the situa- 
tional context and individual differentiation. 

Finally, consciousness may be expressed through the perspectivation. 
The term perspective refers to a language producer's conduct vis-a-vis 
the phenomenon verbally expressed. The perspective thus is the product 
of syntactic differentiation (or spatialization) and the development of 
control. It should be clear that perspective in this sense is a matter of 
inner quality, which may be developed and brought about only simulta- 
neously with a conception of time. 

The Objective Imperative 

Ecological Control 

Primary to the survival of humans is their ability to ecological ob- 
servation. The first verbal expressions referred to simple externa! ob- 
servations. The "mentality" was steered by a leader and consisted of a 
warning, which developed into some ritual behaviour and formalized into 
language. To be sure, a call of warning indicates an intention, which is 
the prerequisite for building a communication repertoire. Jaynes (1976) 
suggests that the beginning of such a repertoire was a modifier indi- 
cating ecological control by differentiated suffixes. When there was a 
need for behaviour of a more controlled kind, this need may have devel- 
oped commands out of the modifiers, as for example an instruction like 
"sharper" given to a hunter sharpening his flint axe. After certain basic 
behaviours had been formed and these two types of expressions had 
been stabilized, names of the environment became the germ of civiliza- 
tion. By the age of the rock-paintings (25000 -15000 B.C.) there is 
archeological evidence that the frontal lobe grew rapidly, paving the 
way for the language areas of the brain to develop. 

The medium by which a civilization could evolve was the audible ex- 
pression. The non-conscious man had to continually repeat (memorize) 
the instruction heard to be able to do work, despite the fact that he did 
not have any will or conception of time. But by the adaptation of the 
brain to a "bicameral" system (Jaynes' term) a part of the brain could 
be used for hallucinating the sounds of speech of the leader and for 
preserving them. 

Between an ecological phenomenon an its expression of control there 
is the least possible spatiality. It may be illustrated as in Figure 1. 
Anybody unfamiliar with the culture in which the word "marduk" exists 
cannot understand the word in another sense than "mountain" when 
confronted with "marduk" uttered in this very specific ecological con- 
text. This is an example of the cultural (lexical) interpretation of word 
sense. If, however, the mountain also symbolizes a god, the name 
"Marduk" in the same ecological context becomes something mental and 
may be interpreted in its dynamical sense, as for example "Marduk!" 
meaning warning or invocation. In being familiar with the rituals and 
habitual behaviours typical of a certain ecological context the intention 



Figure 1. Object governing: Lexicological control 

of a certain expression can be known. But if the control, as in this case, 
is totally external, its expression functions like an object without per- 
spective, which requires our presence at the moment of utterance in or- 
der to function as linguistically meaningful. 
Social Control 

The art of living in cities of such dimensions that not every person 
knew every other formed the basis for the communication system we call 
language. The forming of groups and social control made necessary a 
communication capable of creating order among the group members. 
Jaynes (1976, p. 135) suggests that this development began between 
10000 and 8000 B.C. A name functions as an individual reference, neces- 
sary for talking about somebody in his absence. It was also the head- 
man's instrument for controlling the group members without relying on 
eye contact. The intention memorized was associated with a certain per- 
son whose voice was recognized. The recall of inner voices in order to 
steer patterns of behaviour is termed hallucination today, often regarded 
as a state of mental illness (schizophrenia). 

After a leader had died, his voice was still heard. In many cultures 
there are still the custom to bury the dead person twice, the second 
time when his voice had become silent. The death of a leader created the 
myth of a living god and his grave was the start of the building of 
temples. This religious custom can be traced back to about 3000 B.C. 

Typical of this age should have been individuals characterized by low 
consciousness and thus low stress tolerance, which means that they had 
a low threshold to hallucinating behaviour. The period was marked by 
frequent hallucination of divine voices. The societies were organizations 
of leaders (god-kings) and led (collective), within which the human be- 
ings behaved like automates, freed from the compulsion of having to 
make choices. The period, therefore, is called the golden age. It is not 
too long ago, because still in our age, movements have been established 
whose purpose is to restore the mental states of non-consciousness. 

The most interesting change in mentality through the establishment 
of the social systems is the marker of the forcible language by the com- 
mand (not the instruction). The social control makes possible the emer- 
gence of categories of behaviour in the human mind. However, the dif- 
ference between verb and name (nominal) was not as distinct as it be- 
came later on. A nominally oriented language may be regarded as pre- 
mature, since the distinction between a lexical and a syntactic dimension 
is net salient. The first written characters caved during this period 
were meant to depict the audible signals, the talk of the gods, in 
cuneiform. No doubt, this was a cultural achievement. Cuneiform is usu- 
ally not referred to as a language, which is probably due tc its low 
spatiality, for the characters are tightly connected to the culture of a 
particular city and had the function of signalling collective hallucination 
of voices at public places. The objective phenomenon was the execution 

For the paradigmatic description of the object-governed culture in 
its social function, the well-known depiction of Hammurabi of Mesopotamia 
(about 1750 B.C.) hallucinating commands from Marduk, the city god of 
Babylon, will be used. Hammurabi was the steward-king of Marduk, so all 
he did in the discharge of his official duties was mentally steered from 
the god. Thus culture and mentality constituted a unity, the objectively 
given and the unquestionable god was the inner voice, which had as its 
consequence that Hammurabi could not distinguish himself from Marduk. 
This absence of spatiality is illustrated in Figure 2 by a command, whose 
initiator and executor are not separated in the linguistic form. The com- 
mand "listen" has the function of signalling a behaviour, that is being a 
mediator between the command and its goal. Thus "listen" would easily 


Figure 2. Object governing: Implicit point of reference 

be regarded as a name of the phenomenon, that is, "obedience" (listen = 
cbey from ob+audire). The infinitive mood belongs to the non-conscious 
level, where an "I" or a conception of time is missing. It is not difficult 
to imagine that the common conception of an infinitive form emanates 
from the imagination of a behaviour as a reachable goal. It seems plausi- 
ble that verbs have been generated out of nouns, as for example "to be" 
whose etymological sense is "life" (Jaynes, 1976, p. 51). With this way of 
thinking, a verb of state like "be" may be conceived as active, since it 
signals something living (compare Panini's description of Sanskrit ac- 
cording to Rocher, 1964). 

The amalgamation of culture and mentality described recognizes only 
the objectively given and requires no perspective for its functioning. In 
the depicted relationship between Hammurabi and Marduk, the left posi- 
tion of Hammurabi should be regarded as symbolizing the cultural dimen- 
sion and the right position of Marduk as symbolizing the steering men- 
tality. The hypnotic relationship existing between the two leaders gives 
a possible etymology to the word "understand" (Old English 
"forstanden") (Bierschenk, 1986), that is, a purposeful listening to a 
force outside one's own control. The relationship between steward-king 
and god becomes paradigmatically discernible when others than the 




Figure 3. Object governing: Subject control 

leading figures answered to their voices. It then became necessary to 
bring order among the gods and to subordinate the people to this order. 
Such a hierarchy is the origin of priesthood. The relationship may be 
illustrated by the steward-king taking the position of the god (Figure 
3). From now on it is he himself who has the executive power, who is 
the commander of mentality, instead of being mediator. He has separated 
himself from his subjects, who constitute the point of reference. This 
mentality would preserve the non-consciousness of the people. The ex- 
pression functions as social control which is still externally defined. So, 
no complete (conscious) syntax exists. The statements with the point of 
departure in the objectively given were predicates consisting of acts or 
properties to which the subjects were subordinated. The predicates be- 
came the source of laws, as for example "the people shall listen to 
Hammurabi and obey his commands". The symbol S in Figure 3 stands 
for subject in the concrete Latin sense of "subiectum". It underlines the 
culturally passive conduct of the component. Hammurabi is still objec- 
tively given (not elected), which is symbolized by the mental function of 
Marduk. There exists a certain spatiality through the hieratic ordering, 

but the perspective is illusory, because Hammurabi's mental function vis- 
a-vis the subjects may be substituted for a culturally passive function 
vis-a-vis the god. This may be tested by inserting a comma after 
"obey", making "Hammurabi" the addressee. 
The Revolt of Passive Voice 

Some centuries after the reign of Hammurabi, human nature was 
still divided into two functional parts, an executive part called god and 
an obeying part called man. But with king Tukulti Ninurta I a dramatic 
change took place (about 1230 B.C.). In the altar-scenes depicting the 
king no god is present, the throne is empty. Cuneiform documents reiate 
how the Babylonic gods get angry at the king because of his inatten- 
tiveness and leave the cities and their inhabitants without any divine 
leadership. This cultural and mental change may indicate that bicameral- 
ity now is beginning to break down and consciousness beginning to 
break through. If one keeps to the conception of perspective or spatial- 
ity as a mark of consciousness, there is in Figure 4, except for the 
empty throne, other marks of this kind. The depiction presents Tukulti 
in two shapes, the first when he is approaching the throne, the second 
when he is kneeling. The picture might be an attempt to illustrate an 
abstraction: the mentality of a god is absent and the cultural control 

(t$ made fun of) (fy) 

h etnas jw> Jiikulti 




Figure 4. Object governing: Emergence of causal agent 


shows a lack of respect. The linguistic expression is only half-way to 
complete syntax, interpreted such that the objective Tukulti makes fun 
of his passivity by the active Tukulti. By that he has made himself an 
instrumental agent (A) and may be said to have a perspective en his 
own function. Thus far this is the beginning of a turning inward of the 
point of reference. However, Tukulti and his contemporaries are object- 
governed and do not have the ability to take the consequences of his 
revolt. The inner parenthesis remains, in spite of its spatiality, an ex- 
pression of the controlling powers. The agent should be conceived as 
merely causal. 

In traditional syntactic analysis of the passive sentence, this double 
function is established, underlining that the point of reference is still 
the subject, exposed to forces or powers ("Tukulti is made fun of by 
Tukulti") outside human control. The mental steering is something exter- 
nal, although not always visible, and possibly because of this intrans- 
parency something non-consciously agentive has to be inferred. This 
agent functions as an instrument for the objectively given and can be 
traced back to the period of social upheavals, which followed when the 
gods no longer in concrete shapes of kings ruled the societies. Through 
higher stress tolerance the voices were heard less often. Instead one 
listened to the physiological reactions on one's effort to bring about 
hallucinations, for example palpitation of the heart and quick breathing. 
The more seldom the gods' voices were heard, the more often the physi- 
ological reactions were taken as divine functions. The internalization of 
the point of reference may be illustrated with a couple of examples from 
the Iliad (Jaynes, 1976, pp. 261-265). 

Originally "thumos" designated an externally perceived activity. It is 
very frequent in the Iliad, especially in war scenes, where it is narrated 
how some warrior causes someone else's "thumos" to decrease. The in- 
ternalized sense is associated with a stress function, which means that 
the inner feelings of, for example, the rise of the blood pressure and 
the contraction of muscles are taken for the activity itself. Another im- 
portant word in the Iliad is "phrenes", which designated the lungs. By 
the internalization it is associated with changes in the breathing, which 
is also dependent on external stimulation. From this the conception em- 
anates that "phrenes" register events and are containers for storing 
information. For a long time it was believed that the place of the 


"phrenes" (roughly the diaphragm) was the place of life. It moved later 
on to the place of the activity of the "thumos", that is, "kradie" or 
"kardie". Thus, the conception of the heart as the centre of life is hard 
to kill. 
Emotional Control 

By the discovery of the inner room the condition for cultural devel- 
opment was created, namely the forming of analogies. That physiology is 
something basic is evident from examples such as "the pulse of a city", 
"plants breath" and "time flies". By understanding the physiological re- 
actions within themselves the individuals got an instrument for under- 
standing others and for behaving against others "as if" they were them. 
One could say that the primary carriers of culture in language are "I" 
and "you", since they are the prerequisite of the forming of pairs and 
the development of will to live. The poetry of Sap ho gives evidence to a 
time of divergence in which names of inner organs stand for certain 
feelings, which announce an amalgamation of "soma" and "psyche". The 
I-spatialization is basic for the narrative as a form of cultural memory. 
That memory is strongly physiologically connected is proved by the me- 
tre, the rhythmic scansion of poetry, ballads, and broadsheets, all of 
which more or less suggestively imitate the heart rhythm. 

Duality is another term for I-analogy. The mentality is namely ex- 
pressed in that the own person is projected on to the you-referent. 
Because I and you are equipped In a similar way, and obey or suffer 
the same feelings, we are both subjects. Thus, pity and sympathy 
emerge through the conception of an analog I. For example, it is the 
meaning of the suffering subject that has become the object of psyche- 
analysis. Consequently, the object of study is treated as subject and 
becomes subject to the psychoanalyst's understanding through his 
knowing of himself. This syntax leads back to Hammurabi, since some re- 
volt of the passive has not been completed. It would have demanded that 
the subject be made responsible to its own actions. But this is not the 
case. The subject is rather exposed to or involved in events for which 
it cannot be demanded responsibility. 

The linguistic analysis does not activate the subject mentally either. 
Figure 5 presents a model for internal control. The alternative when the 
same phenomenon is analyzed on the basis of consequence thinking is 
given in Figure 6. The verbal expression denotes duality. The connection 













Figure 5. Object governing: Duality as projection of the subject 

LS/»ce. \ r 

* ivhett. / Lyou) 

hie J da 




Figure 6. Agent governing: Emergence of intentionality 


is usually indicated as causal tc that extent that an event is inexorably 
linked to another event, which is typical of the mentality cf narration in 
epic works such as the Iliad. The perspective is nothing else than a 
projection of the subject's feelings onto the object so that subject and 
object amalgamate. It is not a matter of paradigm shift.The example ex- 
presses time as basic for a conception of justice. The first relation is 
here seen as preceding in time and the encounter "I-you" as the conse- 
quence, which had been the logical consequence of the passive revolt: 
You who began are responsible for what follows. By this the relation is 
provided with a morality component. In Scandinavian cultural tradition, 
the inverted word order expresses the mentality distinguishing between 
the responsible and the offended, where the offended uses his right to 
retaliation without being held responsible for it. The translation into 
English syntax ("... then I hurt you") gives the opportunity to at least 
speculate over the meaning of the syntactic difference. This asymmetrical 
relation is denoted by the fact that steering and control are separated. 
The symbol A indicates the responsible agent which is the steering com- 
ponent, unlike the agent Tukulti which is unexplainable in its culture. 

The Side-Track of Logic The revolt initiated by Tukulti did not ac- 
celerate only because the gods disappeared into the clouds. Oracles and 
interpreters of signs were engaged to read the will of the gods. But it 
became more and more common that the mediums carried over diverging 
messages, which had to be conceived as quarrels among the gods. Did 
language belong to the gods or the humans? The Greek philosophers 
were the first to realize that human language tells about man himself 
but could not use this knowledge to the advantage cf humans. In their 
belief in something above the clouds, something pure, universal and im- 
personal, they took the task of liberating language from subjectivity and 
re-creating the objective point of steering and control. They made 
statements about language as a cultural object and by doing so they 
equated culture with mentality, that is, the mentality cf predicate logic. 
It namely tries to show that a category of a phenomenon predicts the 
same mentality as the class it belongs to. Thus, with the logician as 
steering component the hypnotic relation between Hammurabi and Marduk 
is given the force of a mental kind of natural law. 


The Mental Perspective 

As from about 500 B.C. one may speak of a mentality similar to that 
of today. With Solon of Athens a new mental age emerges. He repre- 
sented a type of leader who did not need the voices in his daily activi- 
ties but depended on his own judgements. This "de-divination" of the 
steering function required mental strength, which could not be generally 
accepted without the insight of the people. Therefore, the cultural and 
mental changes, manifested as from this period, must be regarded as 
revolutionary. The achievement lies in the transition from the analogic 
way of thinking to a metaphorical. Socrates was the one who, at the 
cultural level, tried to get the people of Athens realize their possibilities 
to know something by means of their own intellectual ability and to 
leave the causal, fatal events behind. The insight, that knowing emanates 
from ourselves and that we find ourselves in a metaphysical relationship 
to our existence has been both dilemma and challenge since then. 

The power of action called forth by the internalization is no longer 
governed by "thumos" or "kardie" but by "noos (nous)", which in po- 
etry written by Solon, has the function of a mental phenomenon quite 
similar to concepts like consciousness, conscience and morality. With the 
devise "know thyself" it may be illustrated how the old paradigm 
changes. Since Socrates was the argumentative agent of this devise, al- 
though not its source, he will stand for it in the example given in 
Figure 7. What this example expresses is the true paradigm shift. You 

((did bj) 


Cfliy J-ejCJ 

dfoj Sj 





Figure 7. Agent governing: Identity between agent and object 

are your own point of steering and control. Thus, Agent (mentality) and 
Object (culture) reside in the same organism, a new way of thinking. 
Tukulti did not reach the shift, since his agent, by its causal function, 
is analog with the objectively given. The new agent takes responsibility 
for both action and thought. (The reader should observe that the notion 
action in speaking about activity before the shift is not correct; be- 
haviour or event would fit better.) The acting Socrates objectifies him- 
self by perspectivating his own mentality (introspection). Another 
observation with respect to the cultural connection of mentality is bound 
to the sentence type. The linguistic term is imperative. It is worth 
remembering that western grammar was born during this period in 
Greece (Aristotle). To be sure, commands and imperatives are materially 
analog but the imperative has also a sense of morality (cf. Kant), which 
requires a responsible (moral) agent and no subject. The action of the 
imperative is the mental conduct that the agent takes. This conduct 
means that the perspective becomes infinite and restricted only by the 
individual's own space of thought. The model further shows that the one 
who acts is the one who initiates the act. This paradigmatic fact has 
far-reaching consequences for the operational ization of the model. 


(eft &Sk) Ci tU -) 

Jen.* (I) vUL (wavi 

(A — * 


wiF^i^K. * / 


Vtt<l "(km) 

0( A — * o), 

Figure S. Agent governing: The question as indicator of consciousn 


Socrates' method of posing questions was to get out that he was 
the knower. The conclusion to be drawn is not the usual one, that a 
question may be divided into a number of statements, but rather that 
the question contains the statement, in the paradigmatic sense. This is 
illustrated in Figure S. If Socrates asks Plato "Why do you ask?" then 
he puts a perspective on their relationship. To him, Plato is the mental 
object in this moment, the non-knower, who, however, in a time per- 
spective and in dialogue with Socrates, becomes a knower of equal dig- 
nity. The opportunity is there a priori. Inherent in Socrates' metaphori- 
cal objectification of Plato is his conception of the other person's intro- 
spection. Plato's "con-knowing" (knowing together, consciousness) 
emerges in the dialectic process, provided that he wants to know. His 
answer, for example "I want to know" may therefore be put into the 
question scheme to illustrate partly his own responsibility in the form of 
mental preparedness, partly the ignorance he wants to treat. 

It should have been evident from this illustration that Socrates has 
the answer. But to observe his cultural actions in the market-places of 
Athens is not enough in order for Plato to get to know what Socrates 
knows (the right parenthesis). He must get at his mentality, that is, get 
at what makes Socrates put the questions the way he does (the left 
parenthesis). The argumentation which develops in the dialogue defines 
knowing and con-knowing through the mental cooperation process. Thus, 
the two texts of the dialogue are the foundation of an independent text. 
The question is the formal steering component of the concept of text. 

Based on what is known about the culture and mentality of Ancient 
Greece their knowledge and consciousness may be regarded as fairly 
bound to specific persons. Today this is termed cult. To be sure, knowl- 
edge is specialized today, but at the same time the public consciousness 
has become broader as well as deeper. Taking Socrates as a representa- 
tive of knowing and Plato of con-knowing the writings of Plato would be 
the origin of a helix of consciousness on whose oscillation Western 
Civilization is still dependent. Every text (consciousness) is a trans- 
formed knowing. What in modern text analytic discussion is called inter- 
textuality seems to refer to transfer. The problem for modern text analy- 
sis is to develop a method for control of de-personalized consciousness. 
It is in this context that the metaphorical paradigm shows its power. 

The Textual Agent 

Text may be formally defined as the amalgamation of question and 
answer. It should be regarded as a transformation of a dialogue situa- 
tion whose exaot cultural anchorage in time and space is not 
transparent. Tuc transiormative step from speech act to text implies tnat 
mentality is perspectivated. Therefore, one must not expect that other 
persons will show up at Socrates' and Plato's places in the question 


scheme to mark the origin of all arguments. The significant property <ji 
a text is that it operates even though the empirical agents are unknown 
or maybe because of it. Such a way of operating is only possible be- 
cause all that man creates and gives name to becomes metaphorical 
agents for himself. If Plato answers "Your ideas interest me" or "The 
questioning makes me strong", then the "ideas" are agents for Socrates 
and the "questioning" for Plato. Similarly the agents are metaphorical in 
relation to any text producer. These agents will be termed "textual 
agents". It is not possible to know in advance which the> are, since the 
function of defining them lies in the text producer at the moment of 
creation. This action manifests itself in the verb. The function of the 
metaphorical verb is to spatialize the agent and his mental object. The 
textual agent manifests itself only in the statement, that is, the answer 
in the text format. In relation to the empirical agent the statement rep- 
resents him indirectly, which means that the statement as form repre- 
sents consciousness. The direct representation of the agent takes place 
in the imperative sentence, the question (starting with V.'h-element or 
verb), and the passive, all three representing knowing. For an opera- 
tionalization of the model it has been proved important to treat the tex- 
tual agents as variables and the textual I y non-present agent as an in- 
variable. The empirical agent's (knowing) perspective differs from that 
of the textual agents (consciousness) in the sense that it picks up 
something deeply systemic, which steers the text at a metaphysical level. 
But it is its cooperation with the physical level that gives meaning to 
the text. 

Kant had probably no idea that his metaphysics would be opera- 
tionalized on text (Bierschenk & Bierschenk, 1986 a, b). His statement: "I 
know only the stars above me and the ground below me" implies that he 
decides upon his existential conduct with reference to a coordinate sys- 


LTkt pare*\Mes*%) fats puty 

Pare* fc sen s&ltes 




olm font 

Figure 9. Agent governing: Morality as steering and control function 

tern. This means nothing else but a determination of the cuter parenthe- 
sis, symbolizing the possibilities and limitations existing between per- 
sonal responsibility and realism. The model may be illustrated as in 
Figure 9. The example shows that much has happened since Tukuiti's 
revolt of the passive voice. The relation between the physical Kant and 
his mental conduct is transcendental. He himself is the foundation of his 
actions and by way of determining the point of reference at himself he 
controls both the objective (orientating) dimension and the acting 
(intentional) coord i natively. Modern man is characterized by actions 
which do not aiways coincide with inner conceptions, depending on sys- 
temic restrictions. In a text, the inner dimension is uncovered such that 
people give a perspective on their own actions. Perspectivation refers to 
a mental spatialization, whose consequences are discovered through the 
tension between the left and right parenthesis. Through the evolvement 
of the metaphorical paradigm it seems natural that the objective dimen- 
sion of the text and the ground upon which it rests shows a spatial 
scope, dependent on which textual agents that control it. The coopera- 
tion between A, control function, and O may at the direct observable 
level look accidental, if one expects a text to be analytical. But text is 
synthetic, and a synthesis is free from the variable level (Hartman, 
1967). For an analysis of synthesis, however, there is a need for control 
of the synthetic steering mechanism the way it is shown in Figure 10. 






CMe pare* MenifJ 

parev\ {reseix, 

Figure 10. Operationalization of the agent function 

This steering mechanism is not conscious, but through the analysis 
of the culturally based dimension of the text it emerges. It operates 
from a text producer, but its result (emergence) is not bound to a per- 
son. It is more suitable to conceive of the text as a representation or 
reproduction of a conduct which may be the expression of a group 
spirit, enterprising spirit or spirit of the time. In that several persons 
may take the same textual standpoint, they may also have the same per- 
spective. By recognizing Kant's conception of something superordinated, 
which may just as well be called morality, as steering a text, the vari- 
able of this superordinate (X) may be used at the text prccessing. With 
this new limit of consciousness a measuring instrument has been created 
for studying phenomena of cur age, such as differences in mentality and 
their changes within culturally similar environments (Sierschenk & 
Bierschenk, 1987, pp. 15, 29). 

Perspective Text Analysis 

Every language analysis founded on the assumption that language is 
something objectively given fails to say something objective about what 
a text brings about. Inbuilt in every object of language there is an in- 
tention, an individually bound component, which an analysis has to en- 
compass in order to be called objective. 



As has been put forward, the intentional component is carried by 
syntax and an intention is characterized by a simultaneous expression of 
agent, action and object. The central component of this mode! is the 
Agent, which differs from the linguistic subject in that it is metaphori- 
cal, that is, perspective producing. This property gets its function in 
text analysis such that the component as textually, physically, present 
(textual agent) represents a text producer, whereas as textually absent, 
or metaphysically present, it represents a conduct. This double function 
of the agent seems to be tied to two interacting linguistic main forms of 
representing consciousness, namely the question and the statement 
(answer). The criterion for distinguishing them is that the question 
lacks a perspective-keeping textual element before the verb. (The wh-el- 
ement has only an organizational function.) 

The Agent is the steering component for text analysis when the text 
is conceived as intentional (mentally conditioned) action. The question is 
regarded as indicator of mentality and not as cultural action the way it 
does in discourse context, for example. The problem of culturally defined 
language analyses is that form and function are confused, which has as 
its consequence that a text is not analyzed independent of situational 
conditions. This necessitates interpretation during processing and by 
that it is not possible to uphold any objectivity. Taking the question 
form to define a text such that it marks a placeholder for a physically 
absent agent marks a limit separated from the physical representation of 
the text, an cuter parenthesis objectifying the text from the perspective 
steering its production. A tangible example of the consequences of this 
is that all linguistic sentences expressed in the form of question, imper- 
ative or passive transforms the grammatical subject, which is culturally 
determined, into an object. This is a mental change which was possible 
thanks to the metaphorical paradigm shift. Culture is something that 
changes very slowly while mentality may change rapidly. 


Bierschenk, B. (1986). The cult of understanding (Kcgnitionsvetenskaplig 
forskning, No. 15). Lund, Sweden: Lund University, Department of 
Psychology. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. TM 011263) 

Bierschenk, B., & Bierschenk, I. (1986 a). Concept formulation. Part I. 
The phenomenon of cognition (Kognitionsvetenskaplig forskning, 
No. 10). Lund, Sweden: Lund University, Department of Psychology. 
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Bierschenk, B., & Bierschenk, I. (1936 b). Concept formulation. Part II, 
Measurement of formulation processes (Kognitionsvetenskaplig 
forskning, No. 11). Lund, Sweden: Lund University, Department of 
Psychology. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. TM 011250) 

Bierschenk, B., & Bierschenk, I. (1987). Consciousness as a function of 
knowledge and culture (Kognitionsvetenskaplig forskning, No. 18). 
Lund, Sweden: Lund University, Department of Psychology. (ERIC 
Document Reproduction Service No. ED 290 634) 

Hartman, R. S. (1967). The structure of value. Foundations of scientific 
axiology. Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern University Press. 

Jaynes, J. (1976). The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the 
bicameral mind. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 

Rocher, R. (1964). Agent et object chez Panini. Journal of the American 
Oriental Society, 84, 44-54. 

Author Notes 

The illustrations in the Figures 2, 3, and 4 are based on the pic- 
tures presented in Jaynes (1976). The drawings of Figures 5 and 6 are 
stylized with reference to Yngve Svalander's illustrations of the second 
editor) of Eva Hede'n, "Grekiska sagor", Almqvist & Wiksell, 1956. The il- 
lustrations in Figures 7, 8, 9, and 10 are photos taken from Karl 
Holzamer, "Philosophie. Einfuehrung in die Welt des Denkens", C. 
Bertelsmann Verlag, 1961. The article was was presented at the 1th 
European Congress of Psychology, Symposium on Ecological Psychology: 
Human Response to Environmental Change, Amsterdam, July 2-7, 1989.